Friday, January 8, 2010

I Don't Have a Butterfinger Group

So in the last month and a half or so, the internet as we know it has been littered with year-end best of lists, AND, since we're entering a new decade, decade-end best of lists. I don't have any lists of this kind to offer. In fact, all of this has done almost nothing except make me feel like I was woefully inattentive and unhip for most of the last 10 years. There were some records on the decade-end best of lists that I bought and loved, but I also consistently found myself thinking, "That's it? Shouldn't there have been more records that I connected with in a REALLY DEEP WAY? What have I been doing?? Where were my MAJORLY IMPACTFUL MUSICAL EXPERIENCES of the last 10 years that would somehow delineate what the most important records of the decade were for ME??"

Don't get me wrong. I found a few things to be really happy about this decade, specifically Wilco and Guided By Voices, but neither of those bands were FORMED during this decade, and one of them had a career largely based in the 90's. What rock have I been under?

The sad truth is that I'm old. Or older than I used to be. I don't always have the energy to look for new and exciting music the way that I used to, and I don't really have specific trusted sources to go to for this music the way that I used to. There are too many outlets to look to, and I don't have time to filter out the ones that are not consistently feeding me things that are interesting. Also, it appears that I don't have the patience to give things as much of a chance as I used to, either. These are symptoms of an unfortunate and sad reality, but what can be done? As I've said before, I long for the days where I could spend at least 3-4 hours of (almost) every day sitting in headphones and gleefully absorbing my most recently purchased records. On the one hand, in a "bottom line" sort of way, doing this is not as important to me as it used to be, but I also don't want to find myself spending all this time trying to find new things to be excited about and then woefully realizing that I'm not that excited about any of them.

There have been deep, powerful musical experiences as well, but a lot of them were in a live concert setting, some of them were with older records that I just discovered in the last ten years, and some of them were with live performances of songs that, when I went to listen to the record afterward, failed to translate in that context into anything resembling a deep experience.

It could be said that these are signs of a bad attitude/snobbery. They probably are.

I bought the Phoenix record the other day. You know, the new one that's on all the year-end lists? It's not bad. I don't dislike it. But I will have to spend more time with it to figure out what I really think of it. Yeah, I'm serious. My wife was able to say "I like that" after hearing it once. Why can't I do that? There are very, VERY few records that I've heard in my lifetime that I felt I could say that about after ONE listen. The Beatles. Weezer's Blue Album. Led Zeppelin I. I mean, I could probably come up with a whole list of THOSE, but relative to how many albums I've heard and own, it wouldn't be very long. How many of YOU liked, I mean REALLY CONNECTED WITH the Phoenix album on first listen? How many of you think I'm a mutant (I mean, in a bad way, not in a badass, should be in the X-Men kind of way)?

Part of me feels that my expectations have become way too high, and that I should just relax and let the music be what it is and make a more concerted effort to enjoy it for what it is. I also feel like my lack of interest or willingness to investigate newer music might be some sort of survival mechanism, some sort of subconscious manifestation of the knowledge deep in my soul that there just isn't as much room for new music in my life as there used to be because of all the music that's already there. These could be bullshit excuses, too.

I polled a few of you on Facebook on what you were listening to on your iPod right now, and what your favorite record of the year was, and I'll do it again here. Tell me what your favorite music of the year OR decade was. And, just because I try to be a good sport, I'll list a few things here that I DID, in fact, enjoy quite a bit last year and last decade.

2009:
PHISH-JOY
ROBYN HITCHCOCK & THE VENUS 3-GOODNIGHT OSLO
SONIC YOUTH-THE ETERNAL
THE FLAMING LIPS-EMBRYONIC (just starting to investigate this one, though)

THE 00'S:
THE HOLD STEADY-BOYS & GIRLS IN AMERICA
WILCO-YANKEE HOTEL FOXTROT
WILCO-A GHOST IS BORN
GUIDED BY VOICES-ISOLATION DRILLS
THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS-TWIN CINEMA
PHISH-UNDERMIND
BECK-THE INFORMATION
DE LA SOUL-ART OFFICIAL INTELLIGENCE V.1: MOSAIC THUMP
BELLE & SEBASTIAN-THE LIFE PURSUIT
PATTY GRIFFIN-IMPOSSIBLE DREAM

That's about all I've got, off the top of my head. It should be easier, I tell you. Lay yours on me.

2 comments:

ElsaFindlay said...

愛,拆開來是心和受兩個字。用心去接受對方的一切,用心去愛對方的所有。.........................

Mixtape Jones said...

I don't know what that says, but thanks!